Jeff Brown: “Welcome to the party, pal!”
The famous Die Hard quote is the best way to describe the Democrat Party’s “welcome” to Philadelphia mayoral candidate Jeff Brown. This long-time grocery store owner, often praised businessman and Democrat Party donor has been attacked more than any other mayoral candidate — by his own party, progressive interest groups and their allies in the corporate media. And when he isn’t being attacked, he’s being ignored — or, his “friends” are distancing themselves from him.
The primary is still over a month away, and already Brown has been attacked both for spending too much of his own money and raising too much money. Worst of all, he’s attacked for portraying his life’s work as if he’s a “savior” for poor residents and their communities.
(Apparently, in today’s Democrat Party, candidates should somehow care about those struggling financially or left behind; but, at the same time, the candidate should not suggest that those in need actually need help. Quite the conundrum.)
Over his career, he’s donated thousands and thousands of dollars to Democrats. He was invited to sit with Michelle Obama at the State of the Union. Governor Wolf appointed Brown to serve on and even chair state commissions. And he has been honored by and partnered with politicians and local unions.
His own bio is from progressive central casting. Jeff Brown serves as “Chairman of the State of Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, as a Board Member and Treasurer of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity…and as Chairman of the Convention Center’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.” He even helped pay for Philadelphia’s gun “buy-back” program in 2020-21.
Last but not least, Brown’s entire business model is based on two key components. First, he opens grocery stores offering fresh food and produce in communities where no chain grocery stores want to operate — “food deserts.” Second, much of his workforce is made-up of people re-entering society after leaving prison.
Brown has been attacked more than any other candidate because his life’s work is actually not valued by Democrat activists. His very mission is used as a hammer against him because he dares to portray himself as some sort of savior of those needing a hand-up.
Brown must be stunned. Politicians who took his money and attended ribbon-cuttings now attack or abandon him. His campaign posted a picture of him with Michelle Obama and reposted her quotes praising him; only to be told by team Obama: “take down the photo, and quote, too.”
The modern Democrat Party is led by people who don’t like the private sector and those who are successful in it. They will gladly take their money for campaigns and causes — after all, their causes are “just” and “deserve” financial support. Plus, any business actually making a profit must be doing something wrong — taking advantage of someone.
But, the activist left only wants candidates who are activists, or progressive politicians who have never worked outside of politics — e.g., Biden, Obama, Shapiro. They view private sector candidates with suspicion — guilty until proven innocent. And, as Jeff Brown is finding out; guys like him rarely get to prove their innocence.
At the same time, Brown shouldn’t be too surprised. During the riots and looting in the summer of 2020, city policy was to allow the horror to unfold. Twelve of Brown’s stores were attacked. Two were destroyed so badly that they closed for some time. The man honored and saluted for serving those in need was abandoned by Democrat politicians. They sided with activists and criminals over business owners like him. Brown should have learned then that his relationship with Democrat politicians was one-way only.
For the record, the point here is not to lift up Jeff Brown, rather to report on the sad state of affairs in Democrat politics. I am a Republican, living in Chester County. If I still lived in South Philly, I’d vote for David Oh — and, not because he’s a Republican. David is a tireless public-servant, who has shown his commitment to neighborhoods, small business and public safety. He is skilled in both government and the private sector, has served our nation. No one in Philadelphia has worked harder to bridge the gap among Philadelphia’s many, many ethnic groups, especially first generation Americans.
Brown may yet win in a very crowded ten-candidate primary, with many candidates who will likely break double digits. If he does win, I’m sure on election night we will find many of those politicians who have attacked or abandoned him fighting to get on stage with him. We will then see what Mr. Brown has learned.
Guy Ciarrocchi writes for Broad+Liberty and RealClearPennsylvania. He advises on issues, messaging, and coalition-building. Follow him on social media @GuyCiarrochi.